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Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 9 January 2006, Official Report, columns 11112W, on birth costs, what the reference costs are for the three resource groups specified for each NHS trust providing maternity care in 200304. 
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many brain tumour patients she estimates would benefit from the use of (a) carmustine implants and (b) temozolomide; and what the cost of such treatment would be. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: There are around 1,900 new cases of malignant glioma each year in England and Wales. The number of glioma patients who would benefit from treatment with carmustine implants or temozolomide will depend on tumour grading.
According to the British National Formulary (50th edition), the cost of one carmustine implant is £650.38, excluding value added tax. The cost of treatment will depend on the number of implants used and will vary in individual cases. Costs may vary in different settings because of negotiated procurement discounts.
The cost of temozolomide is £17.30 for 5X5 milligram tablets, £69.20 for 5X20 milligram tablets, £346.00 for 5X100 milligram tablets and £865 for 5X250 milligram tablets, excluding VAT. The cost of treatment may vary depending on individual circumstances, and in different settings because of negotiated procurement discounts.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the disparity in the availability of temozolomide treatment for brain tumour sufferers in different parts of England. 
Jane Kennedy: In June 2004, Professor Mike Richards, the National Cancer Director published a report into variations in usage of cancer drugs approved by the then National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE), including temozolomide for recurrent malignant glioma.
This report showed considerable variation in drug usage between cancer networks and set out a number of recommendations to address this. One of the recommendations was to ensure that action plans were developed to respond to the report findings.
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The action plans were encouraging, confirming that the profile of implementing NICE appraisals has increased and that where problems have been identified they have been, or are in the process of being, addressed.
Ms Rosie Winterton: This Government are committed to the expansion of radiotherapy capacity. This will increase and improve access to radiotherapy services to all cancer patients. Much has been done already, for example:
In addition, a national radiotherapy advisory group, chaired by the National Cancer director, is considering all aspects of planning and delivery of radiotherapy services including: streamlining service delivery; service quality; equipment requirements; training and workforce needs; and future developments. The group will advise Ministers on the development and delivery of high quality radiotherapy services later this year.
This guidance, in conjunction with the significant improvements to cancer services resulting from the national health service cancer plansuch as improved waiting times, more cancer specialists, and more equipment to diagnose and treat cancerswill ensure that survival rates for brain tumour patients improve.
Ms Rosie Winterton:
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) was formed on 1 April 2005, when the NICE took on the functions of the Health Development Agency to create a single excellence-in-practice organisation responsible for providing national guidance on the promotion of good health and the prevention and treatment of ill health.
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NICE is currently preparing guidance on improving outcomes in brain and other central nervous system tumours for use in the national health service in England and Wales. This guidance will give advice on the service configuration for patients with these tumours to improve outcomes.
Implementation of NICE guidance is a developmental standard as set out in 'National Standards Local Action' published in July 2004. The Healthcare Commission is responsible for assessing progress of healthcare organisations towards achieving developmental standards.
Once published, the guidance will form the basis for measures for inclusion in the 'Manual for Cancer Services'. The 'Manual of Cancer Services' is an integral part of the NHS cancer plan and modernisation of cancer services. It supports quality assurance of cancer services and enables quality improvement.
Ms Rosie Winterton: The number of patients resident in the Herefordshire primary care trust area treated for cancer in Hereford Hospitals National Health Service Trust NHS hospitals in 200405 was 1,555.
Finished Consultant Episode (FCE)
An FCE is defined as a period of admitted patient care under one consultant within one healthcare provider. Please note that the figures do not represent the number of patients, as a person may have more than one episode of care within the year.
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Patient counts are based on the unique patient identifier HESID. This identifier is derived based on patient's date of birth, postcode, sex, local patient identifier and NHS number, using an agreed algorithm. Where data are incomplete, HESID might erroneously link episodes or fail to recognise episodes for the same patient. Care is therefore needed, especially where duplicate records persist in the data. The patient count cannot be summed across a table where patients may have episodes in more than one cell.
The primary diagnosis is the first of up to 14 (7 prior to 200203) diagnosis fields in the Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) data set and provides the main reason why the patient was in hospital.
Figures have not been adjusted for shortfalls in data (i.e. the data are ungrossed).
Hospital Episode Statistics (HES), Health and Social Care Information Centre
Ms Rosie Winterton: It is for primary care trusts in partnership with strategic health authorities and other local stakeholders to determine how best to use their funds to meet national and local priorities for improving health, tackling health inequalities and modernising services.
Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average waiting time was in Herefordshire for a cancer patient from diagnosis to initial treatment in the last year for which figures are available. 
|Waiting time from diagnosis to treatment (days)|
|Total referrals||31 and under||3238||3948||4962||6376||7790||91104||105+|
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